Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First... IPA... EVER!!!

Somehow, a homebrewer out there managed to go 100+ batches before ever brewing an IPA. And that homebrewer and I share a name - Me.

When I ordered hop rhizomes a while back, I also ordered a bunch of whole hops. There was a minimum order, so I wound up ordering more than I needed. Add that to what I already had in my freezer and the Mt. Rainier pellets that were given out as prizes at Homebrew Alley III, and we're talking about a lot of hops sitting around. What better way to use up hops than brewing an IPA!

So I based the recipe around most of the high alpha hops that I had - Summit pellets for bittering, Chinook, Nugget, and Magnum whole hops for flavor and aroma. I have a love/hate relationship with the high alpha American hops and IPA's. The bright citrus aroma of Centennial hops - love it. The pungent, resinous, piney aroma of Simcoe hops - no thanks.

I originally planned on just using the Chinook, Nugget, and Magnum equally throughout the last 20 minutes of the boil, but tweaked the recipe a bit upon opening the bags of hops. One thing that I really don't like that comes across in some American hops is a catty aroma (yes, cat piss), and I kind of caught a bit of that in the Chinook. So I figured I'd boil those longer in order to minimize the effects. On second thought, I should have just sealed them back up and used something else. But what would I have done with those 2 oz of Chinook hops? Oh, what's that you say, trade them to someone who likes Chinook hops? Yeah, well hindsight is 20/20.

Here's the gist of the recipe:

13 lbs Marris Otter
.25 lb Weyermann CaraMunich I
2 oz Briess Cara Pils

Mash for 1hr at 148º. Collect 6.75 gallons, boil down to 5.75 gallons over 75 minutes.

.5 oz Summit hop pellets, 16.7% AA, boiled 75 minutes
1 oz Chinook whole hops, 13.0% AA, boiled 20 minutes
.5 oz Nugget whole hops, 12.6% AA, boiled 10 minutes
.5 oz Magnum whole hops, 14.0% AA, boiled 5 minutes
.5 oz each Nugget and Magnum added at flameout

Whirlfloc tab added with 15 minutes remaining in boil. Whirlpooled and allowed to settle for 10 minutes after flameout. Cooled to 62º and collected approximately 5.25 gallons of 1.064OG wort in fermenter. Pitched Wyeast 1007 German Ale slurry, gave it 2 minutes of O2.

I was planning on doing 2 oz of aroma hops at flameout, but started to worry that I'd lose too much wort to absorption in the hops. After consulting the Brewing Classic Styles book, which calls for 1 oz at flameout (and 3 oz total finishing hops, just as in my recipe above), I relaxed and had a homebrew.


In other news, I cracked open a bottle of 2000 Brooklyn Monster right before the Pacquiao-Hatton fight on Saturday night. Sadly, it was very well oxidized. Basically all caramel and sherry. I have one more bottle, which I'll hang on to for a little while longer and hope for better things.

Maybe I should have chugged the other one to try and feel like Ricky Hatton at 2:59 of the second round (sorry, no video).

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